BEIRUT: Luckily for Lebanon – something rarely said these days – the monthlong marathon showing off the ready-to-wear collections for next summer kicks off each year while there’s still at least eight more weeks of mild heat in Beirut.
At New York Fashion Week, city residents and their visitors are ogling sandals and shorts they won’t be able to break out for another nine months at least, with Manhattan temperatures this week dipping to 14 degrees.
Beirutis, however, can use this fashion circus for some late-summer style inspiration. Here are five styling ideas stolen off the runways of New York Fashion Week spring-summer 2014:
Punk your sundressLaid-back summer was a recurring theme on New York’s runways, with designers contrasting ethereal feminine frocks with biker-themed accessories.
Tracy Reese stamped temporary tattoos onto the shoulders and calves of her models, giving a bad-girl-gone-good look to an otherwise very preppy sundress in baby blue damask.
She also toughened up a gauzy printed sundress with knee-high gladiator sandals.
Nicole Miller played on the contrast of fluid silks and chiffons and heavy leathers. She threw a charcoal leather vest over a beige summer cocktail dress sprinkled with sequins.
Adding biker elements to well-worn sundresses will revive them with a new feel for late summer. Take advantage of the somewhat cooled temperatures by pairing the dresses with winter combat boots, a leather jacket or a distressed denim vest.
Silk and sneakersOther designers took a different approach to contrasts by going athletic with otherwise girly frocks.
Tommy Hilfiger, one of the kings of chic sportswear, offered some valuable styling inspiration for the hoards of local women sporting Isabel Murant’s pricey heeled sneakers.
Heeled tennis shoes featured in about a quarter of his women’s looks for spring-summer 2014. He paired them with loose khaki rompers and hawaiian-themed shirtdresses.
Nearly all of DKNY’s summer looks featured tennis shoes in one form or another, which gave a sportiness to her otherwise slinky dresses in corals and blues – a good look for trendy women on the go.
To get the look, opt out of the ubiquitous jeans and heeled sneakers look and try something a little more feminine like a silky cocktail dress or a floral romper paired with a jean jacket and high-top Converse.
The drop waistThis is less of a do-it-yourself style suggestion, as you can’t pull something out of the closet that doesn’t exist.
Spring-summer 2014 was riddled with 1920s throwbacks, short dresses often with pleated skirts and square-cut blouses that end below the navel.
Tory Burch, who’s got a knack for prep, sprinkled her collection with these historical frocks, as did BCBG and Noon by Noor.
But they definitely weren’t unique for 2014, as a trip through Zara will attest.
The chain, found at many of Lebanon’s malls, carries drop-waist dresses in embroidered white, as well as dark green, plaid and houndstooth – hues perfect for making the transition to winter.
Mix stripes and floralsDesigners and professional stylists love mixing prints. It’s something that has been a staple of postshow trend reports for at least the past four summer seasons.
But mixing patterns has seeped onto the street pretty slowly, especially in Lebanon.
Granted, it takes a certain eye and a certain boldness to make it work.
Take Reese’s show, for example, which featured a neon, plaid crop top paired with a floral pencil skirt, a checkered jacket, platform wedges and a red-lined fedora. Holy patterns – not many outside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn would have the gall to pull that one out of the closet without hesitation.
J Crew offered a more sober example of pattern mixing that can easily be replicated, especially with the number of printed trousers walking around Beirut. One women’s look featured pink and blue floral pants paired with a loose tee in wide, navy and white stripes.
This is a great place to start if mixing prints has piqued your interest but your terrified of looking like it’s laundry day.
Reese may have taking pattern mixing to the extreme, but a more conservative approach can be gleaned from her collection.
She paired a simply printed black-and-white scarf with shorts in yellow damask.
To replicate this, mix a sundress or skirt made from brightly colored print of one color with a striped or plaid scarf in black, white or gray.
Haram pants and structured jacketY-3, Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto’s collection for Adidas, coupled a pair of sporty haram pants with cargo pockets with a structured leather jacket.
This is a great look for when you’re in a lazy-sweatpants mood but prefer to look presentable. Sherwal or haram pants, whatever you call them, both work, or even cotton pajama-style pants cinched at the ankle.
The key is something loose fitting and relaxed on the bottom paired with a well-tailored and square-shouldered jacket. A blazer, for example, would work well, or a jean or leather jacket with sturdy shoulders.